The Good Life: The 411, July 2007

BEAUTY: Soap Sessions
If you fancy yourself très Martha, sign up for one of Duross & Langel’s monthly weekend workshops. The two-hour sessions will teach you how to make creamy body balms, so-pretty soaps, fragrant aromatherapy bars and more. But don’t expect to coast through class: Owner Steve Duross will (lovingly) pop-quiz you on your decisions. (Turns out vanilla doesn’t just “smell nice”; it comforts and calms.) Steve’s enthusiasm for the craft (and, well, his endearing penchant for cussing) will make for the most fun classroom you’ve been in since Home Ec. Plus, you get to take everything you make home — where you can act like you did it all yourself. (Workshops $35 per person. Duross & Langel, 1218 Locust Street, 215-735-7075; — Carrie Denny

DESIGN: Main (Line) Event
Should you, like many a homeowner, find yourself holding onto a so-so interior designer just for her access to showrooms, or to a blah architect solely for his professional discount, take heart: “Civilian” decorating junkies (that means you) can now cruise Cedar Hollow Design Center, a new showroom featuring 25-plus designers in a former Malvern general store (2329 Yellow Springs Road, Malvern, 610-647-5004;

HOSTING: Serving Peace
The Polished Plate — that new-ish, glass-enclosed corner shop along Haddonfield’s bucolic stretch of Kings Highway — may be a fraction of the size of the department stores’ tabletop sections, but it’s got the best of those stores’ high-end lines (from Simon Pearce to Bernardaud), a hassle-free wedding registry, and oh, adorable beach-themed Vietri ceramic serving pieces (like pastel starfish and shells) that will add an insta-dose of summer to Shore BBQs this month, or city soirees come fall (101 Kings Highway East, Haddonfield; 856-428-2696).

SHOPPING: Old City Switcharoo
Foster’s Homeware is scooting over to a four-times-larger space at 399 Market, and adding new lines and a back-of-store area called “Apt. 399,” a combo showroom/demo kitchen/private-event space. In Foster’s old spot at 124 North 3rd will go Sugarcube, where Elisa Buratto will still sell women’s lines we covet, and start stocking clothes for guys (from the beloved A.P.C. line), too (Foster’s Homeware, 399 Market Street, 215-925-0950,, and Sugarcube, 124 North 3rd Street, 215-238-0825,

SPAS: Harrah's Big Hurrah
First came the shopping. Then came the restaurants. Now comes the pampering: A.C. has recently welcomed its first Elizabeth Arden Red Door Spa, a 23,000-square-foot den o’ decadence inside the ever-expanding Harrah’s. It’s got 23 treatment rooms, a couple’s deluxe suite (with a fireplace and Jacuzzi), and A.C.-exclusive packages like the “Bet on Red Door Spa Ritual” (a massage, wrap and manicure for $310) and the “Windfall Spa Experience” (a facial, massage and scrub for $399). Jackpot! (609-441-5333;

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